The Forge Region – Kimotoro Constellation
7 August YC 121
After dispatching the arrogant narco pusher my mood, and appetite, had markedly improved. I returned to the station and had a hearty breakfast which completely reconciled me with the cruel world. Ready to continue exploration of The Forge I boarded the capsule and woke up Aura.
“Good morning, darling. I have good news…” started I but the words got stuck in my throat and my jaw dropped when I saw Aura’s image.
She looked at me demurely and asked, “You don’t like it?”
I swallowed hard and managed to squeeze out a question, “Aura, why?”
“Well, I thought that maybe it was time to change my style.”
I was suddenly struck by recollection of yesterday’s encounter and groaned, “Aura, is it because of that dickhead at the cloning facility? Forget what he said – he will not be able to abuse us anymore.”
Then I told Aura everything about my morning outing. Her face lit up with glee as I recounted the details of the fight and she said wistfully, “I wish you had taken me with you.”
“I thought you had seen enough of that place. Anyway, what’s done is done – the bastard’s got what was coming to him. Whatever he said is completely irrelevant now so feel free to restore your original appearance.”
“So… you don’t like it? I thought it would make me look better,” said Aura sheepishly.
“Aura, sweetheart, I don’t have anything against hair, but… dreadlocks, really?”
Aura sighed and removed her horrible coiffure, “Okay, I’ll try something different next time. Now, what’s the plan for today?”
“Continue exploring Kimotoro. Perimeter is the next system, I think.”
“It is indeed. Let’s go then!”
Perimeter was empty – no signatures, no anomalies.
“That was quick,” murmured I. “Now we have a choice between Maurasi, Jita and Niyabainen.”
Aura giggled and said, “I want to see Niyabainen – it sounds funny.”
Niyabainen had 3 signatures but they weren’t too interesting – two wormholes and a pirate base. I mean, I was very much interested to jump through a wormhole or kick a pirate’s ass but my ship was not fit for such adventures so I had to give those signatures a pass.
Next was New Caldari, completely devoid of signatures but with a beacon named Derelict Ruins. We warped to the beacon and immediately warped back – the site contained not only a Caldari Monument but also three Guristas thugs which, I guess, were trying to ambush tourists like us.
Our penultimate destination in Kimotoro Constellation was Jita. As expected, the system didn’t contain a single signature, not even a wormhole. Aura, however, discovered that right in orbit of the trading hub there was a famous monument, and she insisted on visiting it.
“If it is so famous, how come we have not heard of it before,” grumbled I and warped to the Assembly Plant.
The monument looked like a brutally disassembled version of the one we saw in New Caldari.
“And, er, what does this monument suppose to signify?” wondered I.
“Oh, it’s called Protest Monument. In fact, it has a rather interesting history,” said Aura enthusiastically and read aloud its description.
This was once a memorial to the winners of a riddle contest sponsored by late entrepreneur Ruevo Aram. After standing proud for half a decade, it was destroyed in late YC113 by capsuleers who were staging a mass uprising against an intolerable status quo of intergalactic affairs. Today, the ruins of this once-great work of art stand as a testament to the fact that change is the universe’s only constant.
“That rings a bell,” muttered I. “Ah, yes! Someone gave me a gift edition of a history book dedicated to that protest. It was called Jita Protest YC113. Can you dig out a summary?”
Aura quickly located the book in my assets and downloaded the abstract:
In late YC113, capsuleers staged a mass uprising against the intolerable state of affairs in New Eden’s space industries and markets of the day. Protests in Jita centered on a monument in orbit of the Jita IV – Moon 4, Caldari Navy Assembly Plant, the long time center of trading in the Jita market hub.
Such was the intensity of the protestors’ firepower, even the normally adamantine structure of the monument could not stand up to the impacts and it was reduced to a ruin. The ruins of the former monument to the winners of the Ruevo Aram Riddle Contest remain in place as a reminder to all of the central role of capsuleers in New Eden’s space-based civilization and to the lesson that change is the only constant in human affairs.
I frowned, “You know, it doesn’t make any sense. What intolerable status quo? What state of affairs? And how destroying a monument can change that?”
Aura looked at me and made a face like this:
I still had more questions, “And what about that ‘adamantine structure’ that required a whole fleet to destroy? Is it some secret compound reserved for immortal works of art? Or were the ships armed with peashooters? If there was at least one battleship with a laser gun, they would have to reassemble this memorial from individual atoms!”
Aura squirmed uneasily but did not reply.
“And one last question,” continued I. “How come all those pieces are still floating around the main structure eight years after the destruction, eh? Why did’t they drift away? Why didn’t anyone pilfer them as souvenirs? Why?”
“Er… That’s actually four questions,” pointed out Aura.
“You can choose just one to answer,” I suggested generously.
Aura gave it a thought and said, “No, let’s do it other way round – I’ll give you an answer and you decide which question it should apply to.”
I narrowed my eyes, “And what is the answer?”
“I don’t know,” replied Aura brightly.
“Excuse me, you just said that you’d give me an answer but now you say that you don’t know it? Am I missing something?” I said testily.
Aura chuckled, “Yep. You see, ‘I don’t know’ is the answer.”
I blinked a few times and repeated, “So, you don’t know?”
“And this is the answer?”
“To which question?”
I felt my head swim.
“Let us finish this conversation,” said I. “I have had enough of Jita and its stupid memorials. Get us to the next system.”
Aura shrugged, “As you say, Captain. Setting course to Maurasi. Warp drive active.”
Just like in Jita, the probe scanner screen in Maurasi was empty.
“Any monuments here?” I asked suspiciously.
“Not that I am aware of,” replied Aura.
“That’s refreshing. Have we finished with Kimotoro then?”
“Actually, there is one more place with ruins of an ancient temple,” started Aura but, seeing an expression on my face, checked herself and quickly said, “but I think it can wait until next time. So which constellation are we going to explore next?”
“Well, I don’t know about you but I planned to go to Onirvura, specifically to Poinen.”
Aura knitted her brow, “But we have already explored it.”
“Not really. That system has a lot of sites that I haven’t visited yet.”
“What are they? Why didn’t we see them on the scanner?” asked Aura eagerly.
“That’s because they are inside the stations and are called bars. The NOH Development Studio Station, for example, contains an especially large number of such sites. So, darling, would you be a lamb and plot the route home?”
Aura rolled her eyes and said in a metallic voice, “Warp drive active.”